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STD testing could reduce nationwide rates

Category: Chlamydia

Testing for common sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea could potentially lead to significantly lower rates of the diseases. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that rates of these STDs appear to be increasing, but experts say that the increasing numbers may be due to more thorough testing.

Each year, there are approximately 19 million new STD cases in the United States, according to the CDC. These diseases cost the government billions of dollars annually and, despite pushes in government-backed education and health treatment, the rates of STDs like chlamydia, syphilis and HPV continue to rise. However, John Douglas, Ph.D., director of the CDC's Division of STD Prevention believes that the apparent increase in cases may be due to testing.

Data from the CDC showed that there were 1.2 million new cases of chlamydia in 2008, significantly more than in years past. Douglas and other experts believe that the rates of chlamydia may have actually leveled off nationwide and could even be shrinking, but the numbers appear to be on the rise because many more people are getting lab tests to determine if they have the disease. Anonymous STD testing as well as procedures that are less invasive and more accurate than before could account for more people having themselves checked for the diseases.

The issue with many of the most common STDs, such as chlamydia and HPV, is that they can spread without either partner realizing it. This is because these diseases can often show no symptoms at all and spread easily through unprotected sex. Those who have unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners are most at risk for these infections, which can lead to serious complications.

If left untreated, chlamydia can cause infertility and chronic pain. Being infected with certain STDs also makes it more likely for an individual to contract HIV as well. Many of these common STDs can be treated with antibiotics and have few serious repercussions if caught early.

Being tested for STDs can reveal a diagnosis and allow for treatment to begin before any of these detrimental effects take place. For those seeking discreet means of testing and diagnosis, a lab test online may be the best solution. Lab tests can be done without a visit to a doctor or a clinic.

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